There’s just something about a gleaming, spotless floor that catches the eye! But there’s more to caring for hard surface flooring than just sweeping and shining.
First, the best offense is a good defense. Put down mats by your doors with tough bristles that will dig the mud, clay, dirt, and grime out of your family’s shoes, keeping it away from your floors. An indoor-outdoor rug made from polypropylene fiber or olefin is a great addition to protect your entranceways. If possible, it is always good to leave the offending boots and shoes outside or carry through the house!
You can prevent scratches by using protector pads on the bottom of the legs of your furnishings. When they inevitably occur, your flooring manufacturer might have a corresponding touch-up kit that can cover up minor dings and scratches. Bigger gouges in hardwood floors might need to be sanded out by a professional.
Regular vacuuming is always encouraged and today’s innovations make this process even easier than ever before: Robot vacuums are a lifesaver! Many homeowners run them once a day on their hard surface floors, especially those with pets and children. Here are some great tips to provide preventative care for hard surface floors. As always, refer to your manufacturer’s warranty for the ultimate care guidelines:
Solid Hardwood - Sweep your solid hardwood floor with an angled broom or dust mop with a dry microfiber mop. To vacuum hardwood floors, use the bare floor setting or soft floor nozzle. Clean spills immediately using a dry or cloth that’s slightly damp. Never allow water to stand, wipe it up immediately or you might have a stain. Also, do not wet-mop your hardwoods! Wet-mopping can not only damage your hardwoods, but also void your valuable warranty.
The National Wood Flooring Association recommends this simple schedule:
- Daily – sweep or dust mop
- Weekly – Vacuum using the bare floor setting
- Monthly – Clean with a recommended wood floor cleaner; do not wet-mop
- Every 3-5 years – Maintenance coat (new coat of finish)
- Every few decades – Sand and refinish
Engineered Wood Floors - Similar to solid hardwoods, it’s important to sweep or dry mop your engineered wood floor daily and vacuum the floor using the bare floor setting. Clean up spills or liquids quickly to prevent stains and always use a dry or slightly damp cloth. Use the same daily, weekly and monthly hardwood cleaning schedule. You may be able to have your engineered floor refinished if the veneer is thick enough. However, doing so will remove any topical water-resistant or scratch-resistant layer and effectively void your warranty.
Laminate – Although your durable laminate floors can handle a lot, the accumulation of grit from dirt can still potentially scratch the surface. Sweep, dust mop or vacuum your floor daily using the hard surface setting. Wipe up spills quickly, and don’t let water stand on the flooring which can cause swelling and warping. Remember laminate is water-resistant, but not waterproof. Occasionally clean the floor with product made especially for laminate care.
Luxury Vinyl – Enhanced rigid texture has come a long way and created realistic, durable LVT products that homeowners are raving about. LVT is completely 100% waterproof! That makes cleaning and preventative maintenance tremendously easy. Simply sweep or vacuum as often as possible, and wipe up any liquid spills. For extra cleaning, you have the luxury of wet-mopping with warm water! When needed use a cleaner designed for vinyl and your LVT will shine for all to see.
The more frequently you clean your floors, the easier it will be each consecutive time! With some attentive tender loving care, your hard surface floors will look radiant and serve you well for many years to come.